b'long time to apply crop production improvement technologies that have been successfully deployed in other crops to wheat, technological progress has been made that should allow the industry to stepwise bring HW successfully to market. Our R&D collaboration with RAGT addresses exactly that opportunity.PRESENT HW DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES Dimitriadi explains that over the past decade, BASFs expe-rience with HW and its relationships with its partners have enabled BASF to gather input from key stakeholders to guide the direction of its HW program. BASF has made a long-term commitment to HW, she says, investing significantly in R&D as well as a dedicated team of experts around the world who focus exclusively on bringing HW to market. Furthermore, new genotyping, phenotyping and envirotyping technologies along with molecular breeding techniques are now enabling commer-cially-viable production systems for HW. Busch echoes the thought that the powerful genomic toolsGuillaume de Castelbajac (left) and Wolf von Rhade.now available are making it possible to tackle the genomic com-plexity of wheat. He adds that leveraging the CMS system in the collaboration between RAGT and Bayer (experience with hybridization technologies and in other hybrid crops like corn) will result eventually in a reliable and cost-effective technology to produce HW. Together, RAGT and Bayer will focus on an HWTHE POWERFUL GENOMIC production system for growers in Europe. Iveson shares that, following significant investments acrossTOOLS NOW AVAILABLEEAME and NA in hybrid wheat since 2012, Syngenta is focused on delivering products with significant benefits to farmers.ARE MAKING IT POSSIBLE They do so by leveraging their broad germplasm base and cerealTO TACKLE THE GENOMIC hybrid expertise to drive higher and stable yields with a reduced need for inputs, together with a scalable and reliable productionCOMPLEXITY OF WHEAT.system. Syngenta has successfully entered four hybrids in CTPS, the official French registration system over the past two years.Our primary objective is to achieve the technical mile-stones in the HW program and over time, consider other tech-nologies, says Busch, like native traits for disease or drought tolerance, to further enhance value for the grower. For ASURs part, de Castelbajac says his firm will achieve HW development through its low-cost model. That is, ASUR is using CROISOR, the only authorized CHA in the world, to create hybrids quickly and without the expensive breeding program for female/male parents that is needed with CMS systems. Almost any elite line can be made male-sterile by one appli-cation of the CHA, and can be used as the mother line, leading to a new hybrid on the market after just five or six years, he says. We have agreements with most European wheat breeders to test their newly-listed lines and use them against a fee to create hybrids. The main financial burden is the high cost of studies needed to maintain market authorization for the CHA.PROGRESS SO FARThe first hybrids developed by RAGT and Bayer will be based on the same genetic system than the competition for which there is full freedom to operate in terms of freedom from patent restric-tions. Busch says using the CMS system has helped seed compa-nies to advance work on HW and its especially seen as a base to overcome hurdles known in the area of efficient and economical seed production of HW seed. De Castelbajac explains already over the last two decades, ASUR has created and marketed many wheat hybrids. So far, HYSTAR, which we listed in 2009, has been the most successful wheat hybrid of all time, he says. With its incredible yield con- Marco Buschsistency under a diversity of climates, it has been sold in more 8IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'